Tamil Nadu’s police chief on Thursday approached the Supreme Court against an order of the Madras High Court that transferred the suicide case of a 17-year-old student in the Thanjavur district to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Live Law reported.
The Madurai Bench of the High Court had transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday.
The Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, C Sylendra Babu, said in his petition to the Supreme Court that there were no circumstances necessitating the transfer of the case from the state police. He has demanded a stay on the High Court order.
The official has also demanded that some adverse remarks made by the High Court judge who passed the verdict should be expunged.
The girl reportedly drank poison on January 9 and died 10 days later. Her father had alleged that she had been tortured after she refused to convert to Christianity. The girl’s parents have sought action against a nun who allegedly tried to convert her.
In an unverified video shared on social media last month, the girl could be purportedly seen saying that she had been harassed as her family had refused to convert to Christianity. The girl is seen saying that she was abused by her hostel warden. The minor also claimed that she was forced to clean the hostel and carry out administrative work. The police have arrested the hostel warden.
Thanjavur Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya Gandhapuneni, however, had said that there was no mention of attempted religious conversion in the initial complaint and the girl’s dying declaration. She added that the video recording was given to the police on January 20, a day after the girl died.
However, Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court, in his judgement, had said that there was “nothing inherently improbable” that an attempt at conversion had taken place, The News Minute reported.
The judge also referred to a statement of the Thanjavur superintendent of police that the conversion angle was not made out, and said that the statement was not warranted.
The court said that the Information Technology wing of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu had released parts of the video that appeared to exonerate school authorities, and said that this raises doubts about the impartiality of the police’s investigation.
The judge said that the petitioner was justified in believing that an investigation by the district police would be biased.